News / Europe

Ukraine's PM to Meet With Obama

Ukraine's PM Meets With Obamai
X
March 12, 2014 4:08 AM
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, days before a referendum in Crimea where a Russian-speaking majority is likely to bring the strategic peninsula under Moscow's control. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Zlatica Hoke
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is meeting with President Barack Obama Wednesday, days before a referendum in Crimea where a Russian-speaking majority is likely to bring the strategic peninsula under Moscow's control. Analysts say the meeting will not stop the referendum, which is set for Sunday, but warn of the urgency of stopping Russia from moving on to other Russian-populated regions of the former Soviet Union. 
 
Russia has made it clear that a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of the Sunday referendum will have little effect on its plans to take control of the Crimean region.  Washington-based political analyst Peter Eltsov said that no matter what official name it will assume, Crimea is lost to Ukraine. He added Ukraine has to fight to prevent any Russian attempt to move further.
 
"It's the biggest fear of the new Ukrainian government and it is quite likely - depending of course on the political situation - that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will try to go to certain parts of eastern Ukraine.  We need to remember that there is no direct by-land connection between Russia and the Crimean peninsula," said Eltsov.
 
Stephen Blank, an analyst with the American Foreign Policy Council, agreed. He also placed blame on the European Union for a lax response to Russia's move to take over the strategic peninsula. 
 
"There have been no real organized economic sanctions on Russia; there have been no systematic strategic military actions to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself; and if I were Mr. Putin I would think I’ve gotten away with it.  I don’t think he will in the end, but I think up till now there has been too little action, and whatever action there has been, has been uncoordinated," said Blank.
 
Yatsenyuk's visit to Washington has another significant purpose; Eltsov said the interim government in Kyiv needs U.S. economic support to survive, and the political support to block Moscow from advancing further into Ukraine's territory. Eltsov added that for now, Russian-speaking populations in eastern Ukraine seem to reject Russian intervention, but that the mood can quickly change.
 
"The identity really is a fluid category, as anthropolgists say. It depends on the situation, in particular in case of war like we saw, for example, in the former Yugoslavia.  Those issues can really change and switch between sides really fast - overnight - depending on rumors, depending on particular political developments.  This is a very dangerous situation," said Eltsov.
 
Eltsov also said Putin seems intent on reviving some of the former Russian Empire as his legacy, and if he is not stopped, he will attempt to bring back under Moscow's control other Russian-populated areas, for example in Kazakhstan.
 
"It is not impossible that given the political situation he would want to take a chunk of northern Kazakhstan, which is populated mostly by Russians. But that would be, of course, a much more difficult enterprise," said Eltsov.
 
Eltsov said the best guarantee against Russian aggression is a NATO presence in vulnerable areas. He thinks Russia is not likely to invade NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, despite their sizeable Russian-speaking populations. 
 
"The country which is not militarily allied and has a very weak military of its own, and is in such financial chaos, is definitely a very easy target," said Eltsov.
 
Last week, the U.S. government authorized sanctions, including visa restrictions, against those found to have violated Ukraine's territorial integrity. The European Union also took measures against Russia, suspending talks on visas and a new economic agreement.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Simonzee1 from: Australia
March 13, 2014 2:58 AM
Obama needs to get in first. He wants to be the chief puppeteer before the E.U tries to pull the strings. He should tell him that he cannot trust the C.I.A as even the American Senate cannot. What will we see next... the waterboarding of Senators?

by: Mario from: Germany
March 12, 2014 2:33 AM
EU seems to approve Russian incursion in any part of world but EU. Europe,especially Germany,has a strong economic ties with Russia,so Ukraine is not worth of breaking it up. But very soon, Germany, EU and America will find out that they are under threat... Russia will not stop. How can EU and America trade with Russia when Russia declared it would confiscate all firms and property of EU and USA in case of sanctions???

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More